Monday, October 20, 2008

Male vs. female doctors

I had to go to the doctor on Friday. Yes, THAT doctor.

It isn't a pleasant experience - and I will not share details of the visit, don't worry. It is so unpleasant for most people, in fact, that I procrastinated going at all until I was in my early 20s. Then I decided that it HAD to be a woman doctor.

When I first got health insurance, I searched through pages and pages of doctors to find a woman covered by my health plan. I finally found one in Hamden, and she turned out to be OK - at least for the first visit. When she found out it was my first time, she was friendly and sympathetic. We had a chat before the actual exam, and it was calming and not so scary anymore. The visits after that, however, were not so nice. She seemed to be have an attitude of "well, just get over it!" even though she never really said that out loud. It's like she wanted to say "I'm a woman and I can handle it - so should you!"

The first primary care physician I chose through my health care plan was also a woman. I went to her once for an issue that she checked out in a few minutes, then referred me to a dermatologist (the paperwork I had to fill out took three times as long as the exam). I had some other things I wanted her to check out as well, but she didn't even listen to my request - she just ran out the door and on to the next patient. I think she even said something like "oh well, I'm sure it'll go away" on her way out.

That's when I decided "no more."

It's like the women doctors had to work so hard to get to where they are at now that they forget to be human.

I don't know about you, but when I go to the doctor with any type of problem, or even for a check-up, I'd like someone who listens and acts like they care about my potential problems.

Male doctors do that, I've found. "How ARE you today? Is everything ALRIGHT? Are you SURE?"

The other problem is the staff of the doctor's office. At most places, they act like you are their FINAL problem of the day that they just cannot WAIT to get rid of. And they do not have to treat you like a customer in order to keep your business - if you are locked into a doctor, you are unlikely to switch just because a nurse or a secretary is rude. They've got you for life.

I've got two exceptions, though, that I have to point out. My new dentist is a woman, and she is awesome. She's young, friendly and funny. My chiropractor is also a woman, although I was her husband's patient first. They are both great.

Perhaps in most cases it's best with a male-doctor/female-patient relationship or a female- doctor/male-patient one? I'd like to hear some comments on this! Has anyone else experienced issues with their doctors?

1 comment:

gth said...

I have been going to a female provider for several years. I find that females give a more complete physical. I have never
felt uneasy at any time with her. after several years with her the gown is very seldom used. She always tells me what she finds and what she is going to do. Hopefully I will always find a female provider this good.